My Favorite Kitchen Tools

Sometimes something as simple as buying a new kitchen tool can make a big difference in the outcome of your baked goods. When I first started out I made use of what I already had, but as soon as I started borrowing tools from Gary (who went to culinary school), the process of baking became much smoother and efficient! Here is just a handful of the tools I use almost every time I’m in the kitchen.

1. Bench Scraper: I have a metal one and also a few plastic ones that can conform to a bowl, but by far I reach for my metal bench scraper the most. It’s great for doing quick cuts of dough (like bread), cleaning up your cutting board in one fell swoop, or gently folding dough onto itself . Mine also has a ruler on the edge which also comes in handy (though I’d still recommend having a full sized ruler).

2. Rubber Spatulas: Confession: I am a chronic bowl scraper. I find it extremely satisfying and am always slightly disappointed when particular recipes should not be scraped up dry. Not only are different sizes handy but it’s important to have separate spatulas for meringue and for everything else due to residual fat and oil.

3. Offset Spatula: Again, I have a variety of metal spatulas both offset and straight, but this little offset is my buddy. It’s the most fun tool to use when finishing off my 6 inch cakes and gives me the most control. I also have one that’s slightly tapered at the tip, but the one pictured above is my favorite.

4. Mini Whisk: I was really surprised about this one. This is one of those tools I adopted from Gary and from the moment it was in my posession I’ve used it for everything! A large whisk is often too unwieldy and a fork just doesn’t do the job right. I love using my 8″ whisk for eggs, fluffing up flour, quickly mixing in liquids, and pretty much whatever else you need a whisk for, except with way more control.

5. Kitchen Scale: If you’ve ever oogled at european baking cookbooks, get a scale now! I have a simple salter brand scale, but the most important feature is to be able to switch from grams to ounces. I promise your pastries will come out better if you weigh your ingredients rather than relying on volume measurements.

6. Fine Mesh Sieve: This is a great too for sifting dry ingredients together, but I really love using it to strain and make everything smoother, such as purees and curds.

What are you favorite kitchen tools?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea July 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

This was such a fun post! I agree that good tools really do make a difference. I too am a chronic bowl scraper (I hate to see any little bit of batter go to waste), so I have to ask, have you discovered the Zyliss spatula yet (http://bit.ly/MXqrO0)? I am in love with it–I can’t use any other kind of spatula now, it cleans everything off so well! Also, love my mini whisk. I really need to invest in a scale–good tip about grams & oz!

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Sara/Matchbox Kitchen July 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Yes, you NEED a scale Chelsea! It actually makes things go by a lot faster too because you’re not having to carefully fill a measuring cup. I haven’t tried that spatula yet but with such a glowing review I’ll be picking it up soon!

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Lady Lunchalot July 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I love my kitchen scales too. As an Aussie baker using the metric system, they’re indispensable for following American recipes. I also truly love my old Rosti melamine mixing bowl from the 70s, the same one that my mum used to bake with me, and now I bake with my kids.

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Sara/Matchbox Kitchen July 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Mixing bowls are so important! I have a few vintage pyrex bowls that I use most of the time and a few stainless steel bowls. I used to have a set of very clunky nesting bowls that were so heavy it was such a chore to use.

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la domestique July 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

Great list! I use my mortar and pestle a lot, kitchenaid mixer, and a good sharp knife is essential.

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Sara/Matchbox Kitchen July 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

The mixer and a good knife are definitely essentials which will probably show up on my next list of favorite products. I don’t own a mortal and pestle though I’d like to. Partially because they are just too cute, hah!

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Mallory July 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

gary went to culinary school? you guys are like the dream team! delicious things to eat all around.

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Sara/Matchbox Kitchen July 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Haha, on a good day, yes. But we get lazy a lot and end up eating out… a habit I’m trying to break.

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Jenny @ BAKE July 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I think you’ve pretty much covered most of my favourite kitchen tools. I’m completely addicted to my Kitchenaid mixer too, my frostings have really improved since getting it!

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Sara/Matchbox Kitchen July 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

My Kitchenaid is definitely a necessity! I don’t want to imagine making frostings with a hand mixer, haha. The paddle attachment is such a lifesaver.

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